This year’s Super Bowl has the potential to be a Super Snoozefest. That’s especially true in Houston, where the thrill of hosting last year’s game has been replaced by yawns at this year’s underwhelming matchup.
After all, what are the odds that Nick Foles can recreate his Joe Montana impression from the NFC Championship Game against Belichick’s defense? If Brady and the Pats needed a near-miraculous conversation on 3rd and 18 to beat Jacksonville at home, what are the odds they’ll be able to withstand the Eagles ferocious pass rush? No wonder the line has been bet down to the Patriots only being a four-and-a-half point favorite; this year’s game looks poised to be a defensive slugfest with none of the thrills of last year’s epic comeback win.
On the other hand, no one’s suggesting not watching the game. It could be exciting — and those commercials won’t watch themselves.
With that in mind, perhaps the time has come to do something a little different to watch the game. It’s easy to buy some chips and order a couple of pizzas, but local bars and restaurants are offering some intriguing options to tempt people off their couches. Also, it's more fun to sports hate Tom Brady in a crowd.
Heights Bier Garten
In addition to showing the game on its TVs and a projector screen, the popular patio bar will host a barbecue pop-up by Buck's Barbeque Co. Pitmaster Jim Buchanan will be serving brisket, sausage, turkey, and his signature espresso-rubbed ribs, from 12 pm to 7 pm. In addition, the bar will host a yard games tournament (cornhole, ladder toss, and football target toss) with prizes that included signed memorabilia by Texans players J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson, and Jadeveon Clowney.
Eight Row Flint
The CultureMap Tastemaker Awards Bar of the Year winner will host its second annual industry pop-up on Sunday. Starting at 4 pm, cooks from Agricole Hospitality’s various concepts will bring their favorite gameday dishes; customers are invited to bring their own creations or just sample what others have prepared. In addition, Eight Row’s food truck will be serving $3 tacos, and the bar will offer $3 beers and $5 cocktails (Old Fashioned, margarita (rocks and frozen), and the Eight Row mule).
Ace’s of Taste at Brasil
The pop-up masters are throwing a watch party on the Montrose cafe’s spacious back patio. The $30 tickets include a gameday buffet prepared by chef Toya Terry (tailgate beef and Muenster sliders, Texas barbecue pulled pork nachos, Buffalo Sriracha chicken drum, etc.) and five drink tickets for sips from Jack Daniels, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company, and Pura Wine.
Johnny’s Gold Brick
The popular Heights bar will offer happy hour all day on Sunday and, more importantly, a free buffet prepared by legendary Indo-Pak restaurant Himalaya (while supplies last, quantities limited). Discounted drinks, free food, and the big game — what could be better?
The Briargrove restaurant welcomes diners with chef Arash Kharat’s mix of barbecue and comfort classics, along with drink specials like $5 draft cocktails and $15 Karbach buckets. Reservations available.
The recently reopened Heights icehouse celebrates Super Sunday with live music in the afternoon followed by the game. Chapman House Smoked Meats will be on hand with a full menu of barbecue.
Honorable Mention: Saint Arnold Brewing Company
For those who prefer to pregame, Houston’s oldest craft brewery has teamed up with the Houston Barbecue Festival to present Super Beef Sunday. Iconic Texas barbecue joint Louie Mueller will be on hand serving brisket and beef ribs. Houston up-and-comers Feges BBQ and Victorian’s Barbecue will have signature items like whole hog and smoked tri-tip. Of course, the Saint Arnold taps will be flowing. Not bad for $50 per person.
Want some barbecue to take home? Pre-order a whole brisket ($100) or rack of three beef ribs ($75) to go. Must be purchased in advance when buying a ticket.